Antagonists of Crestfallen – Dalkhu

The Dalkhu were made by Annwn long ago. As she was tending her wounds in northern Rivanon, she was harassed by Lupus spirit warriors and even Cyclops berserkers, rather than deal with them herself, she made the Dalkhu to keep them at bay. When Earth Mother froze Annwn into the glacier known as The Ice, the Dalkhu were frozen with her. Now The Ice is melting in great swathes (think of it as a stasis field), the Dalkhu are being released.

Dalkhu begin life in underground nests, hatched in great broods numbering in the dozens from soft leathery egg-sacks. They are left to their own devices, and often eat each other or are eaten by older, bigger Dalkhu. After a few months they leave the nest as a kin-group to find food and leave their mark on the world. All Dalkhu are nocturnal, in fact sunlight hurts their eyes and induces nausea. They combat this somewhat by exuding a black oily smoke when they gather in numbers, they can literally block out the sun.

Young Dalkhu are cunning and quick-witted, they are natural burglars and thieves. They also have an intense curiosity which drives them to explore and try news things, this often leads to their deaths! As they age and grow they loose this aspect, as well as some of their intelligence. Adult Dalkhu are more brutish, fierce in a fight, and a little stupid – they are sometimes advised by their younger brethren. Elder Dalkhu develop scaly skin,  continue growing to around twelve feet tall and are very physically powerful. They loose the ability to make tools, many forget language and tool using skills and revert to animalistic behaviour. They become infertile and often live a solitary life on the fringes of Dalkhu territory – often in swamps and caves. The largest Dalkhu recorded was “Old Goombha”: eighteen feet tall and around seventy years old – Dalkhu only stop growing when they die!

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